Today, Switzerland will present to the United Nations its Country Report 2018 on progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. But the report has met with criticism within Switzerland. CDE Director Peter Messerli, science representative in the advisory group to the report, on missed opportunities – but also on positive developments in sustainability issues in Switzerland. Read more in our new web section "Spotlight".
The “Atlas of Agriculture in the Lao PDR” was presented in Vientiane on 21 June 2018. The new atlas – the first of its kind – contains detailed data on changes in agricultural production in Laos. The atlas was created jointly by CDE and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Laos. Financial support was provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
As is common in the developing world, people in East Africa still typically cook their meals with wood or charcoal – i.e. locally available biomass. Usually over a simple fire. But resulting deforestation, resource scarcity, and respiratory illnesses mean alternatives are urgently needed. CDE researchers studied the implications of possible short-term improvements.
A CDE research project in the Mekong region shows how land grabbing and deforestation are linked, and why this matters for global efforts to address climate change. Read more in our new web section "Spotlight".
In June 2018, CDE will be moving to new premises on Mittelstrasse 43 in Bern, together with several other centres and institutes of the University of Bern. CDE will be located on the second floor. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses will remain unchanged.
How does language shape our perception of landscapes and nature? And how does it influence our thoughts and actions? CDE researchers examined key German terms used to describe landscapes and nature. The results are now available in book form (in German).
Promoting sustainable development in mountain regions usually means strengthening agricultural value chains – and ensuring the inclusion of small-scale producers, farm labourers, and ethnic minorities. The newest issue of “Mountain Research and Development” provides examples of how inclusive value chains can reduce poverty.
The second goal of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to end hunger worldwide by 2030. A simulation developed by CDE uses the example of food security to illustrate the complexity of implementing the 2030 Agenda. It also demonstrates that this type of tool can be useful in finding optimal and coherent policy solutions.
It is possible to build institutions for the management of natural resources through legitimate bottom-up participatory processes – if the concept of constitutionality is applied. Articles were published in a special issue of Human Ecology on the links between societal structures, power relations, and participation – a hotly debated topic in the field of sustainability governance.
Whether the environment, business and trade, migration, or institutional development: the international community faces immense challenges. Now, 15 years after it officially joined the UN, Switzerland, too, must re-examine its global role: Does it wish to act as a bridge builder for a better world? How does it help enable real solutions? At the 1st Swiss-UN Day on 23 March 2018, representatives from science, policy, international organizations, and civil society met at the University of Bern to discuss the way forward.
On 22 March 2018, the recipients of Bernese Award for Environmental Research 2017/18, Dr. Miriam Zemanova and Rahel Jud, publicly presented their honoured works. The award is granted every two years to up-and-coming researchers at the University of Bern for outstanding contributions in the area of environmental sciences and sustainability. The event was organized by the University of Bern together with co-sponsors CSL Behring AG and Energie Wasser Bern.
Information events on the master’s minor programme in sustainable development will take place on 6 and 8 March 2018, from 13:15 to 13:45, in Room 215 at the University of Bern’s main building.
A Swiss delegation led by Manuel Sager, Director General of SDC, and Paul Seger, Swiss Ambassador to Myanmar, has visited the Technical Unit Office of the OneMap Initative. Supported by SDC through an 8-year project mandate to CDE, OneMap Myanmar is a government initiative to democratize access to land-related data and information.
To mark 15 years since Switzerland joined the United Nations, the Gesellschaft Schweiz-UNO association, the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) and the World Trade Institute (WTI) of the University of Bern are co-hosting the first Swiss-UN Day on 23 March 2018.
What would it cost to create a genuinely sustainable Switzerland? At the international level, what is our responsibility as a country to ensure that the objectives of the UN Agenda 2030 are achieved? 250 participants from politics, business, science, think tanks and civil society debated these issues at a conference to launch the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Switzerland, co-hosted by CDE and Biovision.
About 250 representatives and decision-makers will meet in Bern on 15 February in order to drive forward implementation by Switzerland of the global Sustainable Development Goals. They discuss how to effectively implement the 17 SDGs in and by Switzerland. The conference officially launches SDSN Switzerland, co-hosted by CDE and Biovision. It will be reported live on 15 February on SDSN Switzerland’s Twitter and Facebook account.
The Bernese Award for Environmental Research aims to promote disciplinary and interdisciplinary research in environmental sciences and sustainability at the University of Bern. The public award ceremony will take place on March 22 2018.
Northeast Madagascar’s tropical rainforests are recognized as one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. But protected areas threaten the needs of local subsistence farmers who live off the land and depend on forests for various ecosystem services. While no simple solution exists, several policies show promise.
Mountains are frequently associated with outmigration. More recently, some mountain regions are seeing the opposite trend: in-migration. The latest issue of «Mountain Research and Development» looks at drivers, such as structural poverty, depopulation, and amenity migration. Papers analyse social, environmental, and economic implications of migration in mountains based on examples from four continents. Further topics are vegetation, wildfire observation, and hydro-sociology.